The Board of La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, has met on January 16th 2017 and appointed Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara as curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in 2018.
Famous for working as a team, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara live and work in Dublin, where they graduated from the School of Architecture of University College and co-founded the firm Grafton Architects in 1977. The firm has been represented at the Venice International Architecture Biennale three times: in 2002; in 2012, where they won the Silver Lion with their Project for the UTEC University campus in Lima, Peru, together with the work of Paula Mendes da Rocha; and in 2016 under the title The Physics of Culture.
On the occasion of this decision, President of the Board Paolo Baratta declared:
“The Exhibition curated by Alejandro Aravena offered visitors a critical overview of the worldwide evolution of architecture and underlined how important it is that a qualified demand on the part of individuals and communities be met by an equally effective response, thereby confirming that architecture is one of civil society’s instruments for organizing the space in which it lives and works.
Along these lines, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara will continue to address the same theme but from the point of view of the quality of the public and private space, of urban space, of the territory and of the landscape as the main ends of architecture. The curators, who are well-known for the refinement of their work, are also known for their intense didactic activity and their ability to involve and fascinate new generations.”
The 16th International Architecture Exhibition will take place from Saturday, May 26 to Sunday, November 25, 2018.
Yvonne Farrell & Shelley McNamara are both graduates of UCD, Fellows of the RIAI, International Honorary Fellows of the RIBA and elected members of Aosdána, the eminent Irish Art organisation. They taught at the School of Architecture at University College Dublin from 1976 to 2002 and were appointed adjunct Professors in 2015. They have held the Kenzo Tange chair at GSD Harvard and the Louis Kahn chair at Yale University, and have been visiting professors at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland and Accademia d’Archittettura, Mendrisio, Switzerland, where they were appointed as full professors in 2013.
Grafton Architects are winners of numerous international awards including the World Building of the Year Award 2008 for their Universita Luigi Bocconi in Milan and the 2016 inaugural RIBA International Prize for their UTEC University campus in Lima, Peru. They are currently working on the commission for the design of the new Paul Marshall Institute for the London School of Economics, United Kingdom; the new School of Economics for University Toulouse 1 Capitole; the new Town House Building at Kingston University London; and the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter Project – The New City Library in Dublin, Ireland.